Norm Bazin’s squad has a lot to build on from last year with very few departures, but one loss leaves a huge hole. Starting goaltender Tyler Wall leaves the program after posting a 2.10 GAA and .931 save percentage in his senior season and being named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award.
The big question is whether sophomore Logan Neaton can step up after subpar performances in his three appearances last season. The Jets prospect went 0–2–0 in two starts, allowing eight goals in just under 125 minutes between the pipes. At 6’4”, Neaton showed his ability during his time in the BCHL with Prince George. That has yet to translate to Tsongas Arena, but the River Hawks need him to improve.
They retain their top three scorers and seven of their top eight. Matt Brown is coming off a 24-point freshman year (tops on the team) and fellow sophomore Carl Berglund led the team with 12 goals (23 points). Their 6’4” sophomore forward Andre Lee notched 20 points of his own last season.
The defense is led by juniors Chase Blackmun and Seth Barton, who combined for 24 assists and eight goals in 2019–20. A third-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, Barton is another player Lowell will hope to develop this season.
Joining them on the blueline is freshman Ben Meehan. A local name from Dexter Southfield, Meehan was a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings this year. He’s played six times for Team USA in the World Junior A Challenge.
Other freshmen of note are forward Matt Allen (57 points in 54 games for Amarillo in the NAHL), forward Andranik Armstrong-Kincade (44 points in 50 games for Minot in the NAHL), and goaltender Tyler Welsch (1.99 GAA and .926 save % for Aberdeen in the NAHL).
Bottom Line: As a team, Lowell has improved offensively and defensively. As for individuals, the loss of Wall in net is huge. With the skill added in the forward group and on the blue line, Lowell’s floor is qualifying for the tournament — Neaton’s play in net will decide whether Lowell contends for a conference crown.
BOSTON — Hockey East is the closest it’s ever been this late in the season.
Coming into Saturday night, three points separated second and ninth place.
Northeastern sat at the low end of that range, in a three-way tie for seventh
with 19 points. UMass Lowell, with 22, was atop the scrum — tied with Boston
College for second place. With the top eight teams making the playoffs in
Hockey East, every point is essential for making the playoffs and earning a
“My tenure with this league goes back to the
first year,” said Husky head coach Jim Madigan. “I was a senior in that first
year of Hockey East in 84–85. I’ve got a lot of history with this league and
I’ve never seen it this bunched up . . . It’s going to be a dogfight all the
way to the end.”
Northeastern clearly understood the importance of this series. Despite missing key players, the Huskies scrapped their way to a 2–1 win over Lowell on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, completing the season sweep of the Riverhawks after defeating them in Lowell the night before.
Northeastern (17–8–3, 10–7–1
HEA) was missing a few major pieces. Jayden Struble is out for the season after
sustaining a lower-body injury against Maine on February 7. Matt Filipe missed
his third-straight game and is currently day-to-day. Tyler Madden, the Huskies’
star forward and Hobey Baker hopeful, picked up an injury late in Friday’s
Madigan said after
tonight’s game that Madden would be evaluated on Monday and the team would have
a return timeline after that. However, Jeff Cox of New England Hockey Journal reported that Madden
could miss 4–6 weeks with a fractured finger. That’s just a rumor, of course,
but it’s worth noting until the team gives more info.
The game itself was much
less intriguing than its circumstances. Full of sloppy passes and neutral zone
battles, it seemed like neither team wanted to snag the points up for grabs. The
Huskies came out of the gates looking disheveled, misplacing passes and
struggling to clear their zone.
The River Hawks’ (15–9–5, 9–6–4
HEA) opening goal was borne out of a defensive miscommunication as the Huskies
scrambled to find their footing. Carl Berglund made his way into the Husky
zone, dropping it off for the trailing Reid Stefanson. Having just lost his
stick in a collision at center ice, Jordan Harris was out of his normal
defensive position. Stefanson took advantage, finding acres of space on the
left side of the zone to step in close and beat Husky goaltender Craig
Much like in their Beanpot
victory against Boston University on Monday, the Huskies changed their tune in
a big way in the second frame. Whatever was said in the locker room during the
break worked, as Northeastern played with more energy, finishing checks and
moving the puck around much more cleanly.
That clean, beautiful puck
movement paved the way for the Huskies’ second-period equalizer. Starting with
Matt Thomson, the puck touched all five skaters’ tapes on its trip around the
Lowell zone. The fifth skater was freshman Mike Kesselring, who blasted a
one-timer at the opposing net off a feed from Jordan Harris to beat a screened
The two sides battled into
the third period; neither team found paydirt for the first half of the frame.
Finally, with 10:34 remaining, Northeastern broke the deadlock. Remember how
their first goal involved crisp passing and a clear shot? Their second was
about as far in the other direction as you can go. Instead of trying to
describe what happened, we’ll just let you watch the replay:
Not nearly as pretty as the first, but they all count for one point in the end.
As the clock ticked down,
the game became more and more frenetic. At one point, a loose puck in front of
the Husky net squirted out to an open Lowell skater on the left side of the
crease. Pantano, out of position on the right side, flung his leg out at the
last second to make an incredible kick save and keep the Huskies on top.
Pantano, when asked about his great play as of late (40 saves in the Beanpot and a shutout win the night before), said, “I think it has to do with the play in front of me right now. They’ve been letting me see shots, and they’ve been giving me the easy plays. I think we’ve been dialing in our defensive game, and that’s helped me too.”
“Other than adjusting our lines, we didn’t
change our game plan,” Madigan said of the injured players. “We didn’t really
talk much about Tyler [Madden] not being in the lineup tonight . . . Guys
stepped up, which is what you need and expect.
“The lines are going to be shuffled. We might as [well] not even put out a lineup chart,” he said to laughter from himself and the gathered media. “The lines are going to be shuffled for the rest of the year. I think you guys got a lineup chart; there’s 11 forwards and 11 doesn’t go equally, at least in my math. It’s going to be that way for the rest of the year.”
The Huskies will look to build off these wins heading into a huge matchup next weekend against Boston College. The home-and-home will kick off on Thursday at Matthews Arena, with Christian Skroce and Matt Neiser on the call for WRBB. Pregame coverage will commence at 6:45 PM EST.
LOWELL, Mass. — The Beanpot hangover did not
make an appearance at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on Friday night.
after the No. 12 Northeastern Huskies won their third consecutive Beanpot
title, Jim Madigan’s group shut down No. 11 UMass Lowell to move up to sixth
place in the conference standings.
to our older guys about that on Wednesday and they delivered the message to the
rest of the group,” Madigan said. “We’re in a playoff hunt. We can’t afford a
Beanpot hangover. In fact, we try not to use the word that begins with a B and
ends with a T and focus in on what’s at hand here.”
Huskies came out focused and cashed in on a power play seven minutes into the
first period. Tyler Madden found the back of the net for his team-leading 19th
goal of the season.
it was dominance marked by crisp puck movement, defensive prowess, and
smothering goaltending by Craig Pantano.
the way our team competed and battled,” head coach Jim Madigan said. “I think
it was probably our best defensive game of the year in terms of how we
Madden’s goal, Northeastern center Zach Solow left the game with an injury. But
he returned later in the next period and was all over the ice, bringing an
energy that the Huskies sustained the rest of the game.
banged up early in that game,” Madigan said. “I thought our kids showed a lot
scored his fifth goal on an assist by Neil Shea six minutes into the second
Craig Pantano built a brick wall in net and recorded his first shutout since
November 29. Pantano set aside 24 shots; his counterpart Tyler Wall made 19
saves for the Riverhawks. Grant Jozefek netted his eighth goal of the season on
an empty net goal with one second remaining.
will make the trip to Matthews Arena, where they will rematch Saturday. Matt
Neiser, Jack Sinclair, and Rae Deer will have the call for WRBB, with coverage
beginning at 7:45 PM EST.
season: 19–13–5 (12–7–5 HE); lost in HE quarterfinal
Head Coach: Norm Bazin (eighth season)
Coaches’ Poll Projected Finish: Sixth
G Christffer Hernberg
D Avini Bershia
D Croix Evingson
D Seth Barton
F Nick Master
F Ryan Dmowski
F Connor Wilson
F Ryan Lohin
F Cole Paksus
F Michael Dill
F Nick Marin
D Mattais Goransson
G Logan Neaton
D Jordan Schulting
D Marek Korenick
F Matt Brown
F Carl Berglund
F Brian Chambers
F Andre Lee
The Riverhawks’ 2018–19 season was a great success.
With a 19–13–5 record, Head Coach Norm Bazin rebounded from a tough 2017–18 campaign
that saw the Riverhawks slip from fourth to seventh in the conference
standings. Behind a group of rising juniors and senior scorer Ryan Dmowski, the
Riverhawks placed fourth in Hockey East last year with 12 conference wins, with
two coming against powerhouses BC and Northeastern.
Unfortunately the regular seaon success did not carry to
the postseason, as BU eliminated UMass Lowell in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
Although this was a disappointment, BU was playing great hockey after a dismal
start to the season.
Last year the Riverhawks were anchored by junior goaltender Tyler Wall and his impressive .929 save percentage. Five different players tallied over 20 points, led by junior forward Ryan Lohin (27). Although no one put up huge offensive stats, the scoring-by-committee model and unselfish play benefited the team. With Wall and four of the top five goal scorers returning, the Riverhawks are poised for another solid season.
Bottom Line: The biggest knock against Coach Bazin’s squad is an inability to land top-rated recruits. BC and BU both scored great recruiting classes and will likely leapfrog Lowell in the standings. Nonetheless, Lowell is a well-run program primed to contend in Hockey East.